Context Access to affordable, reliable, good quality transport is necessary for accessing socio-economic opportunities and resources. Transportation inequities have serious implications for public health, and thus transport policy becomes an important social determinant of health. This research studies how the needs of vulnerable populations are constructed and addressed in transportation policies in India at the national and sub-national (Delhi) level.
Process Thirty-four National and Delhi level policies were analysed using an intersectional lens to understand how policies identify and address mobility inequities faced by vulnerable groups.
Analysis Analysis was guided by The Intersectionality Based Policy Analysis (IBPA) framework and PROGRESS Plus framework.
Outcomes The research found that policies focussed on a unitary understanding of population groups and therefore did not capture the complexities of transportation inequities experienced by vulnerable groups. While equity was a stated concern, policies fell short of addressing structural factors and interlocking systems of power and oppression which give rise to inequities. Policy documents were also found to stigmatise groups based on disability and gender. The policymaking process was found to be exclusionary and ‘expert’ driven. Voices of vulnerable groups and civil society were left out of the policymaking process. In terms of evidence, policies did not detail what evidence was relied upon. All the above has negative implications. Transportation policies are not aligned for the operationalisation of equity and social justice in transportation.
Learning Outcomes To advance a social justice agenda, an intersectional evidence-based understanding of transportation inequities is required to inform policies. The process of policymaking needs to be re-imagined and made more inclusive and democratic, and less bureaucratic and expert-driven.